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Playa Matapalo, Sardinal Costa Rica
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What is Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best?
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Individually wrapped toiletries
Updated 23/06/22 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Updated 23/06/22 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

About

#1 of 3 hotels in Sardinal
Location
Cleanliness
Service
Value
2022 Travellers' Choice Best of the Best
The 24h all-inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica opens all year round and is located directly on the beautiful Matapalo beach. Our guests may use the facilities in the sister Hotel Riu Guanacaste, except dinner meal. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Daniel Oduber Airport LIR (33 km) and Playas del Coco (18 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 538 cozily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa, or get in shape at the fitness center. 4 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. Day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, Japanese, Italian, Fusion restaurant and Steakhouse, as well as 6 bars and our Cappuccino patisserie & ice cream parlor.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Beach
Diving
Babysitting
Parking
Wifi
Pool / beach towels
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Fitness classes
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Swimup bar
Poolside bar
Aerobics
Entertainment staff
Evening entertainment
Fishing
Table tennis
Nightclub / DJ
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Kids club
Airport transportation
Taxi service
Business Centre with Internet Access
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Spa
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Foot massage
Full body massage
Head massage
Massage
Salon
24-hour security
Baggage storage
Concierge
Currency exchange
Gift shop
Shops
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Sun umbrellas
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Ironing service
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Room features
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Room service
Safe
VIP room facilities
Laptop safe
Flatscreen TV
Room types
Ocean view
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Modern
Languages Spoken
Spanish
Hotel links
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6406Reviews1954Q+A100Room tips
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Jherd wrote a review Yesterday
6 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
Costa Rica was a beautiful country. The palace is as described in the pictures we had direct access to the beach with stunning views of the ocean. I would recommend water shoes as the beach gets super hot. Brought my own snorkelling gear and got a chance to see some fish it was great. Pros: - Locals on the beach we’re friendly - beach was always raked and clean - rooms were as described full bar in room - buffet was standard - servers were very friendly - lots of activities to do on the resort especially loved ping pong table - servers came to the pool to serve drinks - the alcohol selection was good - RIU parties were fun Cons - refrigerator was broken even with complaining to the front desk 3x no one came to fix it - restaurants were not the best. I would recommend fusion though - the Japanese restaurant took 1 hour just to get apps we were so hungry while waiting and the food wasn’t good - the shows were okay every night had a theme but it was very similar throughout the week - room service wasn’t the best I was only able to order sandwiches and Mexican tostadas which wasn’t very filling - the lounge food wasn’t the best either just mini burgers and chicken nuggets but I would stay away looks like most of it was sitting all day in the warmer Overall I loved Costa Rica I would definitely go back. The RIU in my opinion held up to their standards there were just some minor things that could be improved. I would recommend going on the atv tour I got to see the monkeys and a beautiful beach.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: Don’t loose towel cards it’s $20 per card
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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PVRLoverOhio wrote a review Jun 2021
Ohio3 contributions29 helpful votes
Hotel's Favourite
I recently stayed at the RIU palace for 8 nights with my 16 year old and 19 year old and had a wonderful vacation. The activities staff...especially Leida, Greivin and Johan...were excellent. They got everyone involved and made our stay especially fun. The waiters...Slayter, Paul, Dennis, Victor, actually all of them are excellent and work very hard. Of course things weren't completing up to par due to COVID but I gave 5 stars because everyone worked hard to make sure we had a great vacation and I have no complaints. We took a tour with Marco Polo who you can find on the beach to the right. He did an AMAZING job with our Buena Vista excursion and took lots of pics for us. I highly recommend Marco. Also, I had 2 massages and my daughter had 1 from Rebecca at the beach. It's $35/hour for relaxing or $39/hour for deep tissue. We both received deep tissue massages and they were incredible. Rebecca can be found at the beach to the left. My kids made lots of friends at the resort and we all want to return. Costa Rica is a beautiful country and the people are so kind and welcoming! Thank you RIU Palace and staff!!!!
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Date of stay: May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
24 Helpful votes
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Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded 22 Jun 2021
Dear Guest, Thank you for your visit and your time to share your experiences with us. We are happy to serve you and are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay. We hope to your return in the near future. With our best wishes we remain, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Mehdi Akhavi wrote a review 2 Oct
1 contribution
Riu PALACE , Liberia Costa Rica. This is a honest Canadian review booked on a Sunwing flight out of Toronto. Weather was either cloudy all day mixed with light rain or Sunny in A M till about noon then rain Keep in mind off season/rainy season so expect it. Food was decent fruits were exotic but by day 5 u feel it, bland and predictable at best. Room was again decent a little worn for a 10 yr resort but great ocean veiw room 4040. We eat breakfast at neighbor Riu Guanacaste same menu minus a few extra items. Pools were fine but beach a little run down small and over powered by locals. But note, if u want $25 30 minute massage or $40 1hr not a $200 Riu ripoff spa massage go to beach turn left toward parking lot and see many local setups and even arts crafts etc on the cheap. Lastly entertainment was poor at best very repetitive with little time , 1hr two different times. Also, Airport charges $6 50 us a bottle of water..only vist duty free , food very expensive eat at resort till flight. In all we give Riu Costa Rica a solid 7 out of 10. Richmond Hill ,Ontario 🇨🇦
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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DM. wrote a review Sep 2022
5 contributions5 helpful votes
Stayed at Riu Palace in July, via TUI. On arrival greeted with a host of drinks and smiling staff. Quick and easy check in, had requested a high floor which we received. Room a little dated but air con good, fridge full of drinks and overall very good. Had view of the jungle. In brief, drinks excellent, food excellent, especially the buffet. All staff are really friendly and helpful. Great location, pool areas and pools excellent. Our two weeks unusually for an all inclusive flew by. Visited coco playa, Diamanté park and a trip to Tenorio national park. All great. Due to time of year it rained a lot in the afternoons, but we expected it. Walk the trails outside of the hotel to find the howler monkeys and other local wildlife. It’s very safe to do so, if you stay on the paths. Overall a fantastic hotel, and staff.
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Date of stay: July 2022
Rooms
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Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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Danea wrote a review Sep 2022
Brighton, United Kingdom44 contributions9 helpful votes
+1
PROs: We’ve had a lovely stay at Riu Palace, the food is outstanding, staff are incredibly lovely and drinks are delicious. Honestly food is INCREDIBLE. Rooms are spacious. There’s a nice food and alcohol bar thats open 24/7, so you’ll never find yourself hungry in this resort. Everything is tidy and maintained, pools are spacious and entertainment is great. Special huge shutout to our waiter Gerant who’s been absolutely excellent for the whole length of our stay, making it even more special. If you want a massage, instead of paying extortionate prices at the hotel, go to the beach and turn left, you’ll get a full body massage for $40 as opposed to over a $100 for the same service at the resort. It’s also very authentic in a traditional hut on the beach, which makes the experience even better CONS: despite having a lovely time, the reason why we can’t give this resort 5* is the room cleaning. Our fridge or toiletries didn’t get restocked once, we felt like the whole “cleaning” was only making the bed. In addition, they KNOCKED ON THE DOOR EVERY MORNING AROUND HALF-7 -8, which we simply couldn’t believe. Also it wasn’t a knock, more like a bang on the door saying “HELLO CLEANING” Moreover, as of around 6AM which is what I assume is the time they start working, there were loud laughs and noises outside of the room every single morning during our stay, so that definitely needs an improvement.
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Maybe ask for fridge and toiletries refills as it’s not automatic
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Flyinbyu wrote a review Sep 2022
Fort Smith, AR35 contributions62 helpful votes
+1
My wife and I stayed at this property the week of September 17th-24th, 2022. We chose this resort since we have had positive experiences at Riu Properties in Cabo, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Punta Cana. The Riu properties are in a complex just off of Matapalo Beach. The property is a gated type property complete with a water park, and a small strip of shops for souvenirs and shopping. The check-in process was simple. We were greeted and welcomed to the resort, and taken straight to our room. Our room was a jacuzzi suite, with a view of the Pacific, located on what the hotel calls the third floor, which is actually the second. The room is a spacious open floor plan. It has a dining area, a living room split-level bedroom, and a bath area. The shower is large enough to accommodate 20 adults (yes, 20 adults if you like to shower with friends), a private bathroom, and a bidet. The living area has two sliding doors to access the wrap-around balcony that overlooks the grounds with a jacuzzi tub on the corner of the balcony. The rooms are a bit dated and could use a current refresh. There is a small liquor cabinet, and a refrigerator stocked with two beers, one Coke, one 7 Up, one Fanta, and one tonic water. The grounds of this resort are beautiful and well maintained...because every morning at 6 am, the ground crew is outside using loud gas-powered trimmers and lawnmowers, so no need to schedule any wake-up call or to set your alarm on your phone! The grounds are covered in plumeria trees, hibiscus, Christmas, king, coconut, palmetto, and various other flowering shrubs. Pool areas are clean and well maintained. One of the main pools closed during our stay for a day because a child decided to defecate in the pool, which was reminiscent of the movie "Caddy Shack", with the exception the pool wasn't drained and sanitized, just a healthy dose of chlorine to fix it. The pool area was quite loud. I'm still wondering what was worse at the pool area...screaming kids or what seemed to be a hip-hop convention from the city of Atlanta yelling and carrying on like uncivilized people that have never traveled abroad before. What carried over from the pool went into the themed restaurants at night. Speaking of restaurants, let's talk about the food...The buffet-themed restaurant "Arenal" is where you will have breakfast or a dinner buffet. Tokio, sushi and Japanese cuisine, Krystal Fusion restaurant, Papagayo Steakhouse (open air closest to the beach), and we save the worst for last, L'Anfora "Italian cuisine". If you're a foodie, this resort is N O T for you. Out of all of our travels throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the food at this resort is terrible. 1. Arenal: You can find something edible here. It may take you a few different tries of various foods, but breakfast will be a winner, and something freshly cooked at night here. 2. Tokio: Sushi is obviously pre-made, refrigerated at a low temperature, and pulled before being served. I've had better sushi at a gas station. The entrees here weren't too bad, but still not something you would call up to standards at a "4-star" resort. 3. Krystal: Various types of entrees, even serving foie gras. Average quality. 4. Papagayo Steakhouse. Various steaks. The fries served with steaks were really good. Ribeye was good. 5. L'Anfora Italian w/antipasta starters...AVOID like COVID. This was the absolute worst of the restaurants. The food served here makes Chef Boyardee taste like something prepared by Gordon Ramsay. I can't really comment on bar service, as we didn't spend much time at bars due to the noise and loud people that seemed to cling to them during our week-long stay. There is a snack bar-type restaurant off of the main lobby that was great to grab coffee and snacks in, as well as a draft beer in! The coffee bar right around the corner from that in the main lobby was great to visit at night for a dessert, coffee, or milkshake freshly made. One of the baristas recommended a sliver of red velvet cake for my milkshake and it was fire! So good. Let's talk about the beach. If you've ever been to the Caribbean, you're going to be disappointed with this beach. It's not a pretty beach until sunset. There are vendors here, which will not harass you much. Just be kind to them, speak to them, and say no thank you if you're not interested. The beaches further south from this location are aesthetically more pleasing, but it's nice to stroll down the beach and get away from the resort(s) and away from people to reflect. Entertainment...there is a small amphitheater on the property with nightly shows. We didn't go to any of them. If you've seen one Michael Jackson show, you've seen them all. If you have an ocean-facing room, you will hear them until 11-11:30 pm every night. There is a crew that entertains around the pool area and into the night, I didn't have much interaction with them, so I don't have an honest opinion. If you enjoy wildlife, this resort has plenty of raccoons, birds, squirrels, iguanas, cats, and a dog or two on the beach, or around the steakhouse at night that are well fed! Our visit here was considered the rainy season, so everything was green, with a bit of rain here and there, but there were no capuchin monkeys on the beach or in the areas close to the resort. Apparently, they retreat to the higher areas during the rainy season and forage where there's plenty of food growing due to the rainy season. However, there are howler monkeys! We found a family of howlers just down the beach, near the entrance of the dirt road to the "Monkey Bar". Quite fascinating to see these majestic animals! The staff...well, let's start by saying I speak Spanish. It is my second language, and I used it as much as possible when communicating with the staff. I would say the staff is somewhat friendly IF you are speaking Spanish. I overheard waitstaff speaking negatively about "gringos". If you do not know what a gringo is, it's someone that is not Latino/Hispanic. In Costa Rica, if you're not a Tico, you're a gringo. Do NOT expect to be waited on promptly. Much of this resort is self-serve. If you do need something that is not self-serve, you may have to ask more than once and it will likely take a while if you're not a Spanish-speaking person. If you choose this resort, you will likely enjoy it if you haven't stayed abroad much. I highly recommend getting away from the resort and trying authentic food from Costa Rica. There are many other friendly faces and interesting people that are willing to share their country and culture with you and your family while you visit Costa Rica.
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Date of stay: September 2022
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded today
Dear Flyinbyu, Thank you for taking the time to share this honest and detailed feedback of your recent experience with us. We regret that your stay at our hotel did not fulfil your conception in some aspects as our aim is always to please every one of our guests. Rest assured that we will forward all your impressions to our management team for follow up and we truly hope you allow us the opportunity to welcome you again and share a more pleasant experience. Warm regards, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
iwan148 wrote a review Sep 2022
Penrhyn Bay, United Kingdom81 contributions65 helpful votes
+1
BAD Pool entertainment- they only talk to the Spanish talking people (Same in all TUI resorts Cuba, March 2022) Night Entertainment- Back to the 80’s - needs a lot more work, sound system did not help. Only last for 30 min and they have 2 sittings (20.15pm and 21-15pm, they have to sanitise between each show (September 2022 !!)) we were out in mid September and it was quiet and still only did 1/2hr show each night. Karaoke - the compare talks mainly (90%) in Spanish, when someone shouted to translate in English he made a joke of them and continued in Spanish. Quiz night - asked everyone to download the Kahoot! App but expected everyone to get it done in 5min Japanese restaurant- they tell you no bookings just turn up, but when you do turn up they say “sorry we are booked up tonight” no atmosphere Sun beds are very uncomfortable need some padding on them. You can’t get cash in the hotel, so you need to bring enough cash with you for tipping etc. GOOD The cleaning staff, waiters and waitresses are great The gardens are immaculately kept and pool areas are kept very clean. Thanks r The rooms are very clean. The rooms are a very good size with drinks in the room. Will not go on another TUI holiday or stay in any of there hotels. VERY disappointed with it, but a beautiful country
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Date of stay: September 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Bring lots of small $ for tipping no cash machines around and hotel will not change your money
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from RIU Hotels and Resorts, Owner at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Responded yesterday
Dear iwan148, Many thanks for staying with us and for taking the time to share your impressions. First of all, we are glad to find that you enjoyed the staff members´ great service, the beautifully maintained grounds and your room´s comfort. However, as it is one of our priorities to ensure that we exceed expectations giving an outstanding service and to provide an enjoyable experience to all of our guests, we are truly saddened to find that you weren't completely satisfied with your recent experience. We appreciate your feedback and we will forward your comments to the relevant team for an adequate follow up as we really hope you will give us another chance to better serve you in the near future. With best regards, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica Online Reputation Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Oonagh P wrote a review Sep 2022
24 contributions18 helpful votes
+1
We visited the Rui Palace Costa Rica in April/May 2022, this hotel is absolutely outstanding- the rooms are lovely and extremely clean and comfortable. We previously stayed next door in the Rui Guanacaste which we also loved- the palace is a little more modern. The food in this hotel is fresh and delicious and we were always spoiled for choice. The staff are very outgoing and friendly here. I particularly love the animal noises around the hotel- the monkeys and the frogs etc. the garden and the amazing coffee!!! The weather is amazing as are the Costa Rican people. Definitely our favourite place in the world! Some cute little shops just outside the hotel and plenty of excursions to go on- one of our favourites so far was to Haceinda Aromal- beautiful day out, really really enjoyable! Costa Rica is truly the most beautiful country in the world- Pura Vida!
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Date of stay: April 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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TeamPach wrote a review Sep 2022
Woodland Park, New Jersey9 contributions2 helpful votes
Our first family trip to Costa Rica and we’re so glad we picked RIU Palace! Everything was perfect and the service was amazing. There’s an issue with two of their sit down Restaurants, they are always booked and the wait time can be over two hours, besides that everything else was great.
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Review collected in partnership with riu.com
Date of stay: September 2022
Value
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Location
Cleanliness
Service
Sleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Jackie wrote a review Sep 2022
Horsham, United Kingdom8 contributions2 helpful votes
A great hotel with amazing staff - all staff were so friendly and attentive we would particularly like to acknowledge the 5 star service from Raquel (dinner service) and Asdrubal (coffee lounge). Food was superb. Beach offered shade and was sandy with lively waves some days. Service for drinks on the beach was an added bonus. Lots of trips available - we loved diamanté. Rooms clean and comfortable. Wildlife in and around the resort which made it all the more fun. Entertainment was good in particular the live bands. On our last morning we could hear and see the howler monkeys which just cherry topped our holiday. Thank you to the whole Riu team.
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Date of stay: September 2022
Location
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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PRICE RANGE
US$242 - US$418 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
Costa RicaProvince of GuanacasteGulf of PapagayoSardinal
NUMBER OF ROOMS
538
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Nearby attractions include Playas del coco (6.2 km), Playa Danta (6.6 km), and Penca Beach (7.5 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a swimup bar, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Guests can enjoy a swimup bar, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Conveniently located restaurants include Maracuya Beach Front, Numu Taproom & Bistro By Chef Nicolas Devenelle, and Sentido Norte Restaurant.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Yes, guests have access to a pool, a fitness centre, and fitness classes during their stay.
Does Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica have airport transportation?
Yes, Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Does Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business centre, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Does Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.
Is Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access and facilities for disabled guests. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.